Monday, February 11, 2013

Winter Microbrew Festival + My Return to Hot Yoga

Well, today is the first day of my DietBet Challenge!


If you want to join me, it’s not too late to sign up! There are also lots of other upcoming challenges with different bet prices if you prefer to join one of those. I’ve seen some challenges as low as $10 and some celebrity challenges that cost up to $50 to join! I figured I’d start somewhere in the middle, and $20 seemed like a good amount of money to me. I weighed in on Saturday (the website was very user friendly and submitting the official weigh in is pretty simple) and the final weigh in is on Saturday, March 11th. This is, of course, the Saturday after I come back from my trip to California so that means I’m most definitely going to have to stay on track while I’m gone. Hopefully this will be the kick in the pants that I need!

Of course, DietBet or not, there was no way I was going to miss out on the Traverse City Winter Microbrew Music Festival this past weekend! Eric and I went to the summer microbrew festival in August and had a blast, so we were excited to check out the winter one.


(cue awkward phone photo where neither of us know where to look)

Eric’s parents even made the drive all the way from the U.P. to join us!


The festival was set up similarly to the one in the summer. Tickets are purchased ahead of time online and your festival ticket covers your entry fee and includes five beer sampling tickets as well as a small plastic sampling cup. There are tons of different breweries (and a couple wineries!) set up in tents offering samples of their product, which you pay for with the tickets. You may purchase additional sampling tickets if you want, as well as larger souvenir glasses that can actually be used in place of your sampling cup. Usually this means you get more beer for your buck so of course, Eric and I each bought a glass.


While you’re checking out the different vendors and sampling beer, the festival also provides live entertainment.


The one downside to the event was that it was COLD. We knew it was going to be outside (it would be hard to set up an event like this indoors), but I guess I expected that there would be tons and tons of giant space heaters and that the event coordinators would somehow find a way to magically warm up the outdoor space. Boy, was I wrong! We were all freezing and my fingers and toes were practically numb for most of the time that we were there. Luckily, they had a couple of fires set up through out the festival so we spent plenty of time huddled around them with our friends.


In fact, us girls pretty much just parked ourselves next to the fire after a couple of hours and sent the boys out to get our drinks. Hey, that’s what they’re there for, right? Winking smile.

Here I am with my friend Elena hanging out by one of the space heaters. They had a couple of them scattered throughout and we stood by those until we realized that the fires worked much better at warming us up!


My favorite drink of the night was called GROG – it was a mixture of cherry wine and hard cider! So delicious. I wish I could remember the brewery that was serving it, but I didn’t take a picture and I can’t find it online. Bummer! It was a big hit though – we all loved it and agreed that it was the most popular drink of the night.

There were also a number of carts serving local grub at the festival, but at around 7:00 (the event started at 4:00), Eric’s family and I decided we’d much rather sit down in an actual restaurant where we could warm up and enjoy a real meal. We went to my favorite place, Bubba’s, and it was fantastic. I got my usual veggie burger with a side of fries and it was just as delicious as always!

On Sunday morning Eric and I picked up my mom and joined Eric’s parents for breakfast before they took off for their long drive home. Eric left a couple of hours after they did (everyone left early to avoid the freezing rain that we were hit with yesterday afternoon) and then I decided to hit up a hot yoga class at Yen Yoga.


I was a little nervous because even though I’ve been going to a lot of cycling classes at the studio, I’ve only been to one yoga class there and it was over a year ago! I’ve also only been to hot yoga once and it was last spring in Grand Rapids, so I was definitely a little rusty. Luckily, I’ve been to enough yoga classes to know that nobody cares if you’re new and everyone is just concentrating on their own practice, so I wasn’t really nervous once the class got going.












The instructor could tell I was new and she corrected my posture more than once, but I didn’t mind. It felt so good to stretch out my muscles and as gross as it sounds, it felt really nice to sweat! I felt like I was releasing all the toxins from Saturday’s festivities and it was a great way to refresh myself for the upcoming week. I really didn’t feel like going to the gym yesterday, so the 60 minute hot yoga class was the perfect substitute. I have a feeling I am going to be bringing hot yoga into my regular workout rotation!

After coming home and taking a quick shower, I whipped up a peanut butter banana protein smoothie. I was starving and it sounded perfect after my sweat-tastic yoga session.


To make the smoothie, I combined the following in the blender:

Hit the spot!


(For my favorite smoothie recipes, be sure to check out this post!)

The rest of my day was spent grocery shopping, doing laundry, and relaxing. Not a bad Sunday Smile.

I’m off to hit the gym before heading to work for the night. Happy Monday, friends!


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